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Electric Scooter Laws in California

Jun 4, 2020 | Product Liability

Electric Scooter Laws in California

Who Can Legally Ride a Scooter in California?

  • In California, only licensed drivers have the right to use electric scooters.

Where Can Electric Scooters Be Legally Operated in California?

  • Electric scooters can be legally operated on non-highway roads that have a speed limit of no more than 25 mph unless in a county or town that has passed a specific ordinance which can allow scooters to be operated on roads with speed limits of up to 35 mph.
  • Electric scooters can be legally operated on Class II and Class IV paths that are meant for bicycles.
  • Electric scooters are not allowed to be operated on sidewalks unless they are leaving or entering an “adjacent property.”

What is the Maximum Legal Speed for Riding an Electric Scooter in California?

  • The maximum legal speed for riding an electric scooter is 15 mph regardless of  where it is being used in public.

Electric Scooter Helmet Law in California

  • Anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding an electric scooter in California.
  • Individuals that are 18 years of age or older are not required to wear a helmet while riding an electric scooter in California.

Legally Parking an Electric Scooter in California

  • In California, electric scooters must be parked on the edge of the curb, near bike parking racks, or near bus stops.

Is Insurance Needed for Operating an Electric Scooter in California?

California law doesn’t directly require a person who wants to use an electronic scooter to purchase insurance. Though, since in California, all electric scooter operators must have a valid driver’s license, and drivers’ licenses require auto insurance, then an e-scooter user will likely have an auto insurance policy.

It is worth mentioning that California does not require registration, plate display, or insurance for privately owned electric scooters.

Electric Scooter Rider Liability

In case an electric scooter operator unlawfully crosses an intersection or mounts and causes injures to a cyclist, pedestrian, or anyone else, the scooter operator can face liability for the incident and inappropriate use of an electric scooter.

Electric Scooter Accidents and Product Liability

An injured electronic scooter rider can be eligible for damage recovery in case he can establish that someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident. This burden of proof takes establishing:

  • The defendant’s duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation for the accident
  • Damages

If a person rents an electric scooter from a rideshare service, the company can be legally responsible for any injuries. In case the company fails to properly service a defective or damaged e-scooter or didn’t give proper instructions for use or safety warnings, it can face liability for an injured scooter operator’s damages.

If an e-scooter manufacturer released an unreasonably defective or dangerous device that caused injuries to a person, the injured consumer can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer.

In case a vehicle driver negligently hits an electric scooter then the case follows a standard framework to other personal injury claims.

Have you been hurt due to a defective electric scooter or a rideshare company’s negligence? If so, we invite you to contact our experienced product liability lawyers in Los Angeles to discuss the details of your situation. Our dedicated attorneys will do everything in our power to help you out!